Jigger Bunts: A Western Story
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: February 2019
Duration: 5 hours 32 minutes
Every fall Tom Reynard, ramrod for the Bar L, had a hard time finding cowpunchers willing to work the winter range in the bleak badlands near the Sioux reservation. So when Jigger Bunts, an eighteen-year-old from New York who was familiar with riding and roping, happened along, he was hired even though his youth was a red flag to Reynard.
To pass the time in the bunkhouse, the other cowhands spin tall tales for Bunts, whom they call the kid, about the exploits of Reynard, and soon Reynard becomes Bunts' hero and role model. Reynard quickly tires of the hero worship, so he concocts a new hero for the kid in Louis Dalfieri, based merely on a picture. Dalfieri replaces Reynard in the kid's mind as his hero, especially when the yarns the punchers tell the kid about this two-gun Robin Hood become outrageous.
When a stranger is brought to the ranch by Bunts and he cheats the Bar L cowboys in a game of poker, the kid takes off to get their money back, to right the wrong as he believes Dalfieri would. This decision sends him down a path outside the law from which there appears to be no return, and for which Reynard can only blame himself. Reynard had all but given up hope to help Jigger Bunts when his mind is changed by a chance encounter with an old friend, Maybelle Crofter.
Recently discovered among his unpublished works, this untraditional story will delight fans of Max Brand Westerns.